Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Schwebebahn in Wuppertal

For years I've heard of the railway suspended over the Wupper River in Wuppertal. Called the "Schwebebahn" or "floating railway" it is the oldest operating monorail in the world.

The Schwebebahn is part of the local transit system. The ride is quite smooth as you'd except, but you do notice the swaying around a turn and when you enter or exit a car.

This doesn't have anything to do with beer, (except that you can take the Schwebebahn from the Wuppertal main train station to the Alter Markt Schwebebahn stop if you want to visit Brauhaus Wuppertal) but I thought it was so cool I'd share some pictures.

First off, the river Wupper is not as wide as I had imagined -- I couldn't really figure out how they suspended it over a river, but -- with all apologies to Wuppertal -- its really the size of a large creek.

The track passes over some pedestrian bridges

Train entering a station

Train arriving in the station

Train departing a station

More station views

Train approaching the Alter Markt station

Closeup of the drive/hanging mechanism

So remember, as a wise man once said "Einmal im Leben durch Wuppertal schweben" (Once in your life you should float thru Wuppertal).

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